Successfully on Their Way!

Sendana Village, Indonesia

 

As we move into the new year, we can reflect back on an eventful 2017. By far, the most prominent focus throughout the year was working with Sendana farmers to consistently produce fermented cocoa beans in order to help secure their reputation with buyers who are willing to pay a premium price for high quality cocoa. We, the TCD team along with key farmers, have been pursuing this goal as a way to ensure that GHNI Sendana Project leaves behind something truly sustainable.

 

The last quarter of the year proved to be a time when months of hard work and learning began to crystalize into a real business, especially for the key farmer committee. Peak cocoa harvest season occurred during October and November, and the core group of farmers, ready or not, were pursuing their goal of processing an order for 4,000 kilograms (about 8,800 lbs.) of premium cocoa beans in accordance with stringent specifications from the customer. The core group showed initiative, creativity, and fortitude in making it through the season and were rewarded with a greater level of trust from customers, new business skills, and blossoming self-confidence.  

 

The TCD team was pleased to see the positive effect on the wider community and even in other communities. The core farmers were able to subsidize what they lacked from their own harvests by buying wet beans from scores of other farmers and then processing them along with their own. It was an arrangement that truly benefited all parties: the core farmers met their order quota, other farmers were able to sell their beans at a higher than market price without having to spend time and energy drying them (giving them more time and energy to focus on other income streams), and buyers received the quality they needed without having to buy through a lengthy supply chain.

 

The TCD team continues to work themselves out of the picture as we head into the final year of the GHNI  Sendana Project. We feel that the farmers are on solid footing to head into this last year and then continue on their own. They will also need to find ways to secure more supply in order to meet demand.  These challenges will be the primary focus in 2018, along with seeing the efforts expand to more farmers in more villages.

 

One other item of note during the quarter was that Sendana received a government grant for 10,000 new cocoa seedlings to be planted. This bodes well for the future, not merely because planting new trees means more harvest in the future, but because the local expertise is now readily available to help see these seedlings grow into mature, productive cocoa trees. Farmers who have received a portion are getting help from the experienced core farmer group. This is a great thing!

 

Agus, Indro, Kristin, Jeremy & Eva
GHNI TCD Workers

 

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